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Author Topic: Positive antibody / negative RNA  (Read 8770 times)

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Offline niceguy1984

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Positive antibody / negative RNA
« on: February 05, 2016, 06:36:13 pm »
I was very shocked to hear from my doctor today that my results came back with a positive antibody test for HCV at 1.38 H REACTIVE.

However my HCV RNA was non-reactive.

My doctor says it might be a false positive and I need to be retested ASAP.

I have had unprotected anal sex in the last 6 months, however I know HEP-C is rarely transmitted through sex. I have never used intravenous drugs or been tattooed/pierced.

Does anyone have any experience with variations in test results? My doctor says the antibody test is more reliable... I am needless to say very upset.

Thank you for any advice.

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Positive antibody / negative RNA
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 07:54:59 pm »
niceguy, you may be in the lucky 15% - 25% who got infected by HCV but whose immune system managed to get rid of the HCV without any help from medicine. Anyone who had but no longer has HCV will have a reactive antibody result but a non-reactive HCV RNA result. As your doctor suggests, it is wise to get retested to find out whether you do or don't currently have HCV.

If the non-reactive HCV RNA result turns out to have been lab error and you do have active HCV, today's medicines have extremely high cure rates and few side effects. People on these forums are very nice and helpful, easing the treatment journey. But I'm hoping your body cured itself of HCV. In that case, future antibody tests will still be reactive, so you won't be able to donate blood, but you won't need treatment because you won't have HCV.

Best of luck to you.

Gnatty
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline lporterrn

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,969
  • LucindaPorterRN
    • LucindaPorterRN
Re: Positive antibody / negative RNA
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2016, 10:04:52 pm »
Hi Nice,
Although hep C is rarely passed sexually, the exception is anal sex. It's emerging as a more common problem than realized. For instance, this study came out at the recent liver meeting (it looks at men who are HIV+ who are at higher risk): https://www.hepmag.com/article/sexual-transmission-blood-28056

Your doc is right - this is either a false+ or a spontaneously resolved infection. A retest will confirm (although I'd retest after a year.) In either case, bear in mind that HCV antibody is NOT protective, and find alternative ways to protect yourself.
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
https://www.hepmag.com/blogger/lucindakporter

Offline niceguy1984

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Re: Positive antibody / negative RNA
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 12:19:42 am »
Thank you Gnatty and Lporterrn for your kind advice.

That is a very good point you brought up. However I was tested for all STDs in August 2015 and nothing about HCV came up. Is it possible that I contracted AND cleared myself of HCV in that 6-7 month period?

I am HIV- for the record. This is going to be torture waiting for my Monday doctor's appointment, and then a week for more results. :( Thank you for taking the time.

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,543
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Positive antibody / negative RNA
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2016, 02:17:21 am »
Hi Niceguy

Are you sure when you were tested in Aug 2015 you were tested for hep c?

Hep c is not generally considered to be an STD so you may not have been tested for hep c at that time.

About 25% of people who become infected with hep c are able to beat the virus on their own with no treatment. However they will always test positive for hep c antibodies. The only way to know for certain you are currently infected is to have a test for the virus itself the HCV RNA by PCR test. The antibody test is for screening purposes then if that test is positive it would be followed by the test for the virus.

The good news is if you are infected with hep c the virus is now very treatable with the new meds approved in the last 2 years with more coming down the pipeline. Treatment can be as simple as 1 pill a day for as little as 8 weeks with for most few side effects.

So either way no  worries ok? Safe sex is the way to go.
Love yourself, love your partner and respect each other.
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline lporterrn

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,969
  • LucindaPorterRN
    • LucindaPorterRN
Re: Positive antibody / negative RNA
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2016, 08:55:51 pm »
Lynn took the words right out of my mouth!
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
https://www.hepmag.com/blogger/lucindakporter

 


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